Monday, November 18, 2019

Gene that results in uncombable hair?

so much hair

3 Genes are resulting in kids having "uncombable hair syndrome

The name "uncombable hair syndrome" is in fact its official name. This is when individuals (in most cases children) have frizzy, tangles hair and is pretty much nearly impossible to get a brush through, and it is extremely rare. Fortunately in most cases this occurs in children and is grown out of. Very few cases are permanent. What causes the hair to have so many tangles is the structure of the hair follicle and its shaft. In normal hair, the shaft appears to be completely smooth, whereas in someone with uncombable hair syndrome, the shaft appears to have rough ridged throughout. Scientists have concluded that the origin of this syndrome is genetic, due to the fact that there family members that express the same trait. This can be tracked using a pedigree. Though scientists knew that this was definitely a genetic factor, nobody could determine what gene was being mutated to cause this syndrome. That was until Regina Betz, a scientist who works for the Institute of Human Genetics at the University on Bonn in Germany decided to launch a study. She and her team of researchers gathered many affected kids from across Europe and sequenced their DNA along with individuals who are unaffected to compare the two. After analyzing them next to each other, the found that there are a total of three genes that contribute to having uncontrollable hair. Betz determined that a mutation on just one of these genes is enough to cause someones hair to become uncombable. Next Betz decided to conduct an experiment to determine why these mutations are resulting in a change in an individuals hair by growing cells with and without mutation. She found that the genes that contribute to someone possession strong hair tare the same genes that are creating a protein that forms messy clumps. To further the research, they tested the grown cells with the mutation on mice. The same result occurred in mice, mice with the mutated gene had hair that was not smooth, and normal mice possessed smooth hair.

1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting! My hair is so frizzy and if I don't comb/brush it while its wet it gets so unmanageable. My family friend used to cry when she got her hair brushed too. This is cool to know that its a genetic mishap. Many people with curly/wavy hair probably inherit this gene along with their hair style.